Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is working toward action in his committee this week on a proposal to generate $10 billion to stabilize the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) through the end of December. The specifics of Wyden’s plan are unclear at this point, but the proposal is expected to focus on finding savings from elsewhere in the federal budget outside the transportation arena to prop up the trust fund. Despite previous statements from House GOP leaders, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said last week he did not expect the House to vote on HTF-related legislation in June.
The House and Senate will begin a week-long recess June 27. The U.S. Department of Transportation has said it will be forced to begin slowing reimbursements as early as July to state transportation departments for federal-aid highway projects already underway in order to preserve a positive HTF balance. The trust fund is projected to be unable to support any new highway or transit spending beginning October 1.